Monday, April 01, 2013

Talk To The Hand

Talk to the hand
I don't want to be on CNN. I know they're gonna call and I'm gonna be all, like, no comment. I don't want to talk about it, just read my blog. I'm not a publicity hound, these things happen, and I just want to move on with the dysfunctional little life I've got going on here.

Ok, maybe Anderson Cooper 360 (he's so adorable) or even Morning Joe, although Joe Scarborough kind of tweaks me the wrong way. (He has a kid with Aspergers so I'll make allowances.) But I am avoiding that Nancy Grace like the plague.  Nothing good will come of that. At the end of everything, I may have to go see Dr. Drew but I certainly don't want to end up on The Situation Room.

We don't want a "situation".

See, on Thursday, Jim, Conor and I board a plane for Florida. Spring Break, you know. My anxiety about the flight has been off-the-charts awful.  I don't know why, we've flown with him before. All I can picture in my mind's eye is Conor having a tantrum on the flight. (I've had LASIK surgery so my mind's eye is very clear, especially when picturing bad behavior from Conor.) Can you imagine? I can, because I've been thinking about nothing else for the past few weeks.

And I can totally see the plane having to turnaround and make an emergency landing in Ohio or something, and then everyone would be mad at us 'cause Ohio is definitely NOT Florida, and we'd be on the news (maybe just Headline News?) and I'll look awful 'cause you KNOW I'll be crying my eyes out and I don't wear much make up when I travel.

All I can say is that Conor's lucky I bought nonrefundable airline tickets 'cause I would have sooooo cancelled this trip ten times last week.

It's gotten so bad that when I asked Conor's psychiatrist for some medication to knock him out if he becomes super-agitated on the plane (super-agitated is the clinical term), my husband asked her if there was something she could prescribe me as well.

"Thank you, honey," I replied smartly, "but I've already got my Xanax prescription filled."  (I don't ever actually take it, but I have it. You know, just in case.)

She prescribed Ativan. In addition, she outlined how to manipulate one of his daily medications for optimal sedative effect. Score!

Making sure Conor is ready for the extreme change in his routine when traveling is twice as hard as preparing him for the simple absence of a parent and sibling for a day or two. (Or four, whatever.) I've written two social stories (one is 12 pages long, I think, and the other is 14 pages long).

I've had to dissect each and every step of our journey. Dissecting can be quite messy and complicated, especially when it's a fetal pig. But I digress. For some reason, the resort time isn't bothering me quite as much, but I'm obsessed with the plane ride.

I can't argue with him. They're delicious.
Look, if you don't have a kid on the spectrum, you might not appreciate the fact that since we're flying American Airlines rather than our tried-and-true Southwest Airlines, Conor might not have his usual Auntie Anne's pretzel before he gets on the plane. Southwest flies out of a different terminal than American, and the American terminal does not have an Auntie Anne's.

I don't know, maybe they pissed Annie off or something. But if we're running for the plane (like last year, oh my gawd, whatta story), nobody's got time for that.

No pretzel could mean challenging behavior from Conor, so I have to make sure he knows about it ahead of time. On Southwest, we pre-board (mykidhasautismsocanwehavethebluepassplease?) and Conor can pick out his own seat. On American Airlines, the computer assigns the seat.  You know how it goes, I'm sure. I had a boss once who had a cow about where he sat almost every single flight I booked him on.

(If a grown man can't handle it, I suppose it's a stretch to think my adolescent with autism will make it easy. If I had known about social stories back then, I would've written my boss one in a minute. He had a whole book with every type of plane and their seating layouts that he would reference before each trip. He would have his own little tantrum if the travel department couldn't get him a preferred seat. I kid you not.)

But it's not as though I'm ignoring the time we're on the ground in Florida. I've reserved all the resort activities that could be reserved. I have to say, the phrase "first-come, first-serve" strikes fear in my heart. It's impossible to keep Conor occupied for hours while we camp out at 4am for the tennis court. He likes to "play" tennis, despite his loathing of actually running for the ball.

"Want Mommy to get the ball?!" 

Who do I look like, Serena Williams? Get your own ball, kid.

Conor doesn't like to wait, or to share to be honest. And those damn tennis players like to get up super early! And, they get pissed off when if I Conor hits a ball into their court by mistake. Go figure.

In any case, I'm done boring you with all my planning and obsessing. I could go on forever about all the minutiae we have to consider. Right now, I've moved on to figuring out when to give him the Ativan "test run". (I've got two days to try it and the doctor only just called it in this morning.) Yeah, you don't want to be giving Conor a new medication at 38,000 feet without having tried it first at home.

That could be a whole different situation. And that situation's not necessarily any better than the other situation. So we're just hopin' not to have any situation. Of any kind. At all.

Even this one--

Hey Mom & Dad, this is Mike "The Situation"
Sorrentino from MTV's Jersey Shore. (I figure
everyone else knows who he is.)

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